Giving Project

The 2018 Giving Project cohort takes a moment for a photo during the Race and Class weekend training. Pictured by row from left to right: (front) Megan Murray Cusick, Lynn Meissner, Cristina Guerrero, Samantha Asofsky, Deepa Arora, Emily Duma, Elisabeth Jansen, Deb Kim, Andrea Meza (middle) Mollie Anderson, Mauricio Roman, De'Ronnius Young, Laura Botwinick, Irina Zadov, Taryne Moore, Kim Hunt, Brenda Hernandez, Armando Santana, Bronwen Schumacher (back) Leah Greenblum, Jordan Maze, Sawyer Hopps, Alyson Hankwitz, Jazmin Martinez, Mac Grambauer, Jane Kimondo. Not pictured: Jessica Ratchford

Crossroads Fund is so excited to announce our 2018 Giving Project cohort - a multi-racial, cross-class, intersectional group of 25 people who have committed to fundraise $100,000 to fund movement work in Chicago. 

Over the course of six months, this cohort will have deep conversations on race and class, make a monetary donation that is significant to them, fundraise their network through a process of "donor organizing," and practice participatory grantmaking supporting strategic, necessary, and underfunded social justice organizing work around the city.

Meet our 2018 Giving Project cohort below! And, if you want to learn more about the Giving Project (or are interested in participating in the future) read more here.


Giving Project Members

Mollie Anderson: I'm a queer, west coast transplant who's interested in learning, listening, and turning knowledge into action that helps move the fight for justice forward.

Armando Santana: Armando is a first generation gay Mexican-American born and raised in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood.  He is excited about leveraging his relationships to help amplify voices that are too often drowned out.

Samantha Asofsky: I am passionate advocate for addressing the social determinants of health through increasing access to basic needs and trauma-informed environments. I am excited to challenge myself to make personalized changes in my life to address systematic social issues. 

Bronwen Schumacher: I am looking to hold myself and others accountable to cultivating economic justice and equity.

Laura Botwinick: I'm looking forward to working with the Crossroads Fund and being part of a progressive agenda and a positive force that is focused on our region.

De’Ronnius Young: I just want to do my part in working to make the world a better place.

Megan Murray Cusick: I am honored to be a part of the 2018 Giving Project. My primary area of focus is education but I am keenly aware that it is inextricably linked with every other social justice issue; I look forward to learning from and growing with the members of this cohort.

Irina Zadov: Irina Zadov is an artist, educator, and cultural organizer. A Soviet Jewish refugee, her practice explores the liminal space between individual and collective, home and state, diasporic community and chosen family. At its core, her work is relational. She collaborates to build platforms which center the leadership of young people, artists, and grassroots organizers working towards justice and healing.

Mac Grambauer: I'm a born and raised Chicagoan, currently living in Humboldt Park. I'm a nonprofit consultant, co-chair of Indivisible Humboldt-Logan and a member of Indivisible Chicago, looking forward to working with other Chicago activists through the Giving Project. I'm also a writer, year-round biker, a frantic knitter, book worm, and film & music nerd, currently listening to a lot of Rage Against the Machine. 

Jordan Maze: Jordan is passionate about intercultural exchange & politics and feels blessed for the opportunity to learn from Chicago activists.

Leah Greenblum: Originally from central Florida, Leah Greenblum is passionate about intersectional feminism and improving the lives of the working poor.

Mauricio A. Roman Marquina: Mauricio is a passionate and active advocate of equal access to higher education, immigrant rights, racial, environmental and economic justice. He has been part of the board of directors of both the Anhelo Project and the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization. In his day job, he is the Data Information and Research Specialist at the Little City Foundation. He is well-rounded and experienced fundraising professional with a proven record in event management and grassroots fundraising. Mauricio is a team player with a strong entrepreneurial spirit and mission driving. He received his Bachelor of Science in Economics with a focus in Development and International Economics from the University of Illinois at Chicago.


Cristina Guerrero: A lifelong Chicagoan, I believe that civic engagement is key to making Chicago a great city for everyone. My experiences range from education to fundraising, and I am currently interested in how philanthropy is a tool to go beyond equality and create thriving communities.

Deepa Arora: I consider myself a consummate and passionate student in life, and I am excited for this opportunity to learn from community members and grassroots organizations about the racial, social, and economic issues faced by residents in Chicago and the potential solutions available to create change.

Brenda Hernandez:  I am a lifelong enthusiast of the arts, new media and creative social practices. I admire and support endeavors that positively impact youths quality of life,  especially those than enrich in arts and culture.

Alyson Hankwitz: I am a Wisconsin native calling Chicago home for the past eight years and currently working at an HIV clinic as a patient advocate. Happiest when I am on my bike or spending time in community, I am excited to learn from the depth of experience and knowledge within fellow members of the Giving Project and from the radical work being done by organizations Crossroads Fund supports.

Sawyer Hopps: Hi my name is Sawyer, and as someone who grew up in a small town in Maine exploring and learning about Chicago always gives me motivation to give back to the city.

Kim L. Hunt: I'm a long time advocate for justice, mother, wife, aunt, sister, friend, science fiction enthusiast, storytelling junkie, avid reader and shoe-crazed Black queer cisgender woman born, raised and thriving in the Midwest.

Elisabeth Jansen: Elisabeth is a development professional with an expansive non-profit career that includes working for both large institutions and grassroots organizations. She has a background in public policy, program development, and community outreach. In 2016 she put her passion for intersectional feminism into practice, co-founding Women Unite!,  a group that provides Chicago-area women with accessible, manageable ways to donate money, volunteer time, and engage with the political process. She enjoys biking throughout Chicago while listening to 90s jams, cross-stitching her favorite female icons, and The Fast & The Furious Franchise. 

Deb Kim: A Korean American illustrator and designer who aspires to use her talents to design resources and lend creative direction to grassroots movements. 


Jazmin Martinez: I am a queer, gender fluid, immigrant living in La Villita, Chicago. I come from a family of campesinos in Mexico who worked and lived off the land. I mention this because it has shaped who I am in ways I never fully embraced. I am currently working on gaining more farming experience and working to become an emerging farmer of color. It is no easy task, I have hesitated calling myself a farmer. But my passion for the land and farming has grown in the last couple of years. I have worked with farmer's of color who have shown me that this work is not separate but rather an important part of social justice movement work.

Lynn Meissner: Lynn is an education researcher studying the transition from high school to postsecondary education and the workforce. She is passionate about helping young people think about and plan for their future and expanding opportunities for career exploration and development. Lynn grew up in Yonkers, NY and lived in Santa Cruz, CA and Kansas City, MO before coming to Chicago in 2014. She's always looking for ways to meet new people and build community (see: and is especially excited to talk about bikes, books, beer, and making the world a better place.


Andrea Meza: I am a first-generation queer Chicana activist, organizer, jazz musician, and multidisciplinary artist from Joliet, IL. Based in Chicago, my social justice work includes coordinating for Making the Road Ltd., performing as a spoken word artist, and gender issues speaker for ESL classes. My work has also included curating arts and activism events. At Columbia College Chicago, I earned my Bachelor's degrees in Jazz Studies, Vocal Performance, and Acting. I'm passionate about the community that music builds and the self-determination of People of Color.

Taryne Moore: I am a nonprofit professional with experience managing volunteers who recently relocated to Chicago and is passionate about social justice and change-making.